UNITED NATIONS (AP) — European Council President Charles Michel on Monday accused Russia of utilizing meals provides as “a stealth missile in opposition to creating international locations” and blamed the Kremlin for the looming international meals disaster, prompting Moscow’s ambassador to the UN to stroll out of a Safety Council assembly.
Addressing Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia straight on the council assembly, Michel mentioned he noticed hundreds of thousands of tons of grain and wheat caught in containers and ships within the Ukrainian port of Odessa a couple of weeks in the past.
That was “due to Russian warships within the Black Sea”, and Moscow’s assaults on transportation infrastructure and grain storage amenities, and its tanks, bombs and mines that forestall Ukraine from planting and harvesting, he mentioned.
“That is driving up meals costs, pushing folks into poverty and destabilizing complete areas.” Michelle mentioned. “Russia is solely accountable for this impending meals disaster. Russia alone.”
Michel additionally accused Russian forces of stealing grain from areas it has occupied. “whereas we blame others”, calling this “cowardly” Y “propaganda, pure and easy”.
Nebenzia walked out throughout Michel’s briefing and gave Russia’s seat to a different diplomat.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, later tweeted on Russia’s Telegram channel that Michel’s feedback had been “so impolite” that the Russian ambassador left the Safety Council room.
The Safety Council assembly was purported to deal with wartime sexual violence in Ukraine, however the Russian invasion and fallout, particularly international meals shortages and rising costs, had been additionally talked about.
Michel gave sturdy backing to UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres’ efforts to dealer a package deal deal that may permit Ukraine’s grain exports and guarantee Russian meals and fertilizers have unrestricted entry to international markets.
Ukraine and Russia collectively produce almost a 3rd of the world’s wheat and barley and half of its sunflower oil, whereas Russia and ally Belarus are the world’s No. 2 and No. three producers of potash, a key ingredient in fertilizers.
Guterres warned final month that international ranges of starvation “are at a brand new excessive”, with the variety of folks going through extreme meals insecurity doubling in simply two years from 135 million earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic to 276 million immediately. He mentioned greater than 500,000 individuals are residing in famine situations, a rise of greater than 500% since 2016.